Ottawa Senators (5-8-1, 11 pts) at Pittsburgh Penguins (7-4-2, 16 pts)
Here's a radical idea for tonight: Put the Sens on the power play early and often. Their power play so far this year has been quite poor, even more so lately. During their current 5 game losing streak, they are just 2-29 on the power play. To strengthen this (admittedly ludicrious) case further, the Sens have allowed 5 shorties (they only have 7 goals on the power play all year) and the Pens have scored 4 shorties. I beat the heck out of Spezza, Alfredsson and Heatley, take some early minor penalties, and then deploy two PK units, one with Moore and Talbot and the other with Staal and Armstrong. For extra offense, you mix in Crosby and Malkin once in awhile. Should be a blowout!
Okay, I know that's dumb, but it is funny how the numbers are working out.
In all seriousness, the Pens need a win, and this is the right time to get one. Martin Gerber has been struggling pretty badly. The Sens have been away from home for 4 of their past 5 games, and they have to go to Boston tomorrow night. The Pens, on the other hand, have had a day or so to get back into the swing of things in the Eastern time zone. They've had some time to recharge. I'm looking for an energetic performance tonight. If that doesn't happen, I'm looking for a Michel Therrien tirade. I don't think he'll take too kindly to losing 4 in a row, especially considering this is a young team. The losing can be just as contagious as the winning.
I'm predicting a nice win for the Pens tonight, with goal #1 from Colby Armstrong (where have I heard that before?)
Let's Go Pens!